Christmas Eve Music Club

A couple of weeks ago, I had the dubious distinction of co-hosting this year’s Christmas Party at work.

This involved me and three others planning and then hosting the event, which got moved to an online virtual party a little more than a week before it was scheduled for, due to the latest Covid strain and the advice to avoid face-to-face meetings unless they were absolutely necessary. This meant a lot of frantic rewriting, but it all went well in the end, with remarkably few technical issues. I’ll maybe write some more about this later.

You won’t be surprised to learn that my main contribution with regards to content was a pop quiz, in the form of a Spot the Intro round. The organisers last year had done one about Christmas Number Ones, so I had planned to do one about Christmas Number Twos, mostly so that I could make a particularly lavatorial joke.

However, you’d be surprised how many records which were #2 in the UK charts on Christmas Day are not particularly Christmassy at all, so it got changed to The Not The Christmas Number One Quiz, which isn’t a particularly snappy title, I must confess.

I prepared 20 intros of Christmas records and invited the attendees to name the song, the artist, the year it was originally a hit, and what was actually #1 that Christmas.

This allowed we to slip in a few gags when delivering the answers: “That was Coldplay with Christmas Lights, setting the template for the soundtrack to every M&S advert since” and, my favourite, “From 2008, that’s It’s Christmas Time by Status Quo, which was kept off the #1 slot by Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah. That, and 38 other records.”

Anyway, that put me in the mood for doing a Christmas mix, remembering that this time last year Christmas was cancelled and I posted a very long and defiantly un-Christmassy mix.

My brother is picking me up to go to be with our parents later today, so this mix is intended to be played on the journey over there (you’ve been warned, bruv!), and then when we arrive too. As such it’s geared towards Christmas Eve, travelling home, Santa visiting (and what the randy old dog gets up to when he does) and the hope that this Christmas is better than last year. It’s full of slightly obscure tunes and the occasional cover of a Christmas favourite. And you’ll be relieved to hear that, unlike most of my mixes, it’s only about an hour and a quarter long. There’s only so many jingling bells one can take.

The length doesn’t seem to have effected the occasional skip or jump (my usual disclaimer) but having listened to it through that shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment too much.

And yes, of course The Wedding Present and Status Quo (R.I.P. Rick) make appearances.

I’m having fun guessing at which song my father will try to work out how to turn the volume down a little, and when exactly my mother will ask just what on earth we’re listening to. I reckon if it’s not when Helen Love is covering Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight) then it will certainly be when Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo makes his annual appearance. And so we’re back to Christmas #2s.

Here you go:

Xmas Eve Music Club

And here’s the tracklisting:

  1. Saint Etienne – Driving Home For Christmas
  2. Summer Camp – Christmas Wrapping
  3. Low – Just Like Christmas
  4. Cuckooland – Silver Bells
  5. Charley Pride – Christmas In My Home Town
  6. Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  7. George Jones – My Mom And Santa Claus
  8. John Prine – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
  9. Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa
  10. Girls Aloud – Not Tonight Santa
  11. Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
  12. The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
  13. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – White Christmas
  14. Joey Ramone – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  15. Helen Love – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight)
  16. The Housemartins – Caravan of Love
  17. Cocteau Twins – Frosty The Snowman
  18. South Park – Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
  19. The Wedding Present – Step into Christmas
  20. Fountains Of Wayne – I Want An Alien For Christmas
  21. Shonen Knife – Space Christmas
  22. Ash – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
  23. Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
  24. Status Quo – It’s Christmas Time
  25. Darlene Love – Marshmallow World
  26. Weezer – We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I haven’t had time to prepare anything else to post over the Christmas weekend, but I’ll probably be back before the New Year, so for now I’ll just wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

More soon.

I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Hello from Tier 4!

You’ll forgive me if I refrain from wishing you a Merry Christmas, because to do so would betray the philosophy which I hope will get me through the next few days. I’ll explain, and you are more than welcome to adopt it.

It’s quite simple: there is no Christmas this year.

All you folks who are lucky enough to be meeting with your friends and families, I hope you have a wonderful day, I really do.

However, this year I will be spending my first ever Christmas on my own.

See, for the rest of us, today is just Friday.

But don’t get me wrong: Fridays are days which should be celebrated. And celebrate we will. There will be a mix available later specifically geared toward those who are on their own, but which others can get on board with.

So, since for many of us today is not Christmas, just another day of sitting at home, watching TV in our pants, but shovelling mince pies and sausage rolls into gaping gobs, this:

Yes, I’m surprised I didn’t post The Wedding Present’s No Christmas too.

I’ll be back later with a splendiforously non-Christmas mix for you all.

By which I mean: more soon.

It’s Chriiiistmas!!!

Ok, so it might be more than a couple of tunes a day….

Moving swiftly on to the other side of the pond, some New Yawkers Christmas tuneage:

casablancas-xmas

Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today

Hearing that, I can’t help but think that the lead singer of New York band The Strokes was in some way trying to emulate the lead singer of New York band The Ramones:

6112G0M3H0L

Joey Ramone – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Whilst it was released a good few years after The Ramones worked with loaded gun-toting Leo Sayer tribute act Phil Spector, you can’t help but think there’s more than a nod here to this:

front1

Darlene Love – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

I could literally post about a dozen versions of that, but I’ll spare you. For now.

Next, just to get us back on the New York tip,  a free download which I don’t have to feel guilty about posting:

Blondie - 2009  We Three Kings

Blondie – We Three Kings

And to round things up, a track from the 1987 charidee album “A Very Special Christmas”:

Christmas_in_Hollis

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis

More soon.